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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 2, Lot: 144. Estimate CHF10000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 17 May 2010. 
Sold For CHF8000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Antimachos I. Circa 180-165 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 16.97 g 11), Pushkalavati. Diademed and draped bust of Antimachos to right, wearing flat topped kausia. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΘΕΟΥ ΑΝΤΙΜΑΧΟΥ Poseidon, nude to the waist, standing facing, holding long trident in his right hand and filleted palm branch in his left. Bopearachchi Série 1A, 1-2. Mitchiner 124b. SNG ANS 274. Very rare in this condition. A superb piece, on a broad flan and with a wonderful portrait in high relief. Lightly toned, virtually as struck.

Ex Goldberg, Millennia Collection, 26 May 2008, 64.

The coinage of Baktria, present-day Afghanistan, is one of the most romantic and fascinating vestiges of Hellenism. The Greeks basically arrived there with Alexander’s conquering armies (though some Greeks had already been transported there as a place of exile by the Persian kings); after his conquest many remained. It became a province of the Seleucid kings of Syria but its satrap was able to establish it as an independent kingdom in the mid 3rd century BC. The coinage of Baktria and of its successor states further east in the Indus Valley is remarkable for the gallery of outstanding portraits they bear, primarily of rulers whose names and features are known solely from their coins. This coin is no exception: we know virtually nothing about Antimachos save for his portraits, which are remarkable for their beauty and individuality. The soft hat he wears, the Macedonian traveling or hunting cap, the kausia, proved to be one of the longest lasting items of Greek heritage in the East: its direct descendent, the pakol, is worn by Afghans to this day. While the coinage of Greek Baktria is not as rare as it once was, coins in truly superb condition are very difficult to find. This is certainly one of the finest examples of its type in existence.